Wednesday with the Wesleys

Monday, May 1 [1738] —The return of my brother’s illness obliged me again to hasten to London. In the evening I found him at James Hutton’s, better as to his health than I expected, but strongly averse from what he called “the new faith.” This evening our little society began, which afterwards met in Fetter Lane. Our fundamental rules were as follows: In obedience to the command of God by St. James, and by the ad vice of Peter Böhler, it is agreed by us, 1. That we will meet together once a week to “confess our faults to one another, and pray one for another, that we may be healed” [Jas. 5:16]. 2. That the persons so meeting be divided into several “bands,” or little companies, none of them consisting of fewer than five or more than ten persons. 3. That everyone in order speak as freely, plainly, and concisely as he can, the real state of his heart, with his several temptations and deliverances, since the last time of meeting. 4. That all the bands have a conference at eight every Wednesday evening, begun and ended with singing and prayer. 5. That any who desire to be admitted into the society be asked, “What are your reasons for desiring this? Will you be entirely open, using no kind of reserve? Have you any objection to any of our orders?” (which may then be read). 6. That when any new member is proposed, every one present speak clearly and freely whatever objection he has to him. 7. That those against whom no reasonable objection appears be, in order for their trial, formed into one or more distinct bands, and some person agreed on to assist them. 8.That after two months’ trial, if no objection then appear, they may be admitted into the society. 9. That every fourth Saturday be observed as a day of general intercession. 10. That, on the Sunday seven-night following, be a general love-feast from seven till ten in the evening. 11.That no particular member be allowed to act in anything contrary to any order of the society; and that if any persons, after being thrice admonished, do not conform thereto, they be not any longer esteemed as members.

John Wesley Journal

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